Florida Gov. Rick Scott to expand Medicaid--with a catch

Decision isn't a 'white flag of surrender' to government-run healthcare, he says

Despite being one of the most ardent critics of the reform law, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that he would green light the expansion of the state's Medicaid program.

The move likely makes Scott the most significant of the seven Republican governors to expand Medicaid since he spearheaded the challenge to the reform law, taking it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the Sun Sentinel.

But unlike the other GOP governors, Scott's Medicaid decision comes with a catch--he only wants to expand Medicaid for three years, up to the point when the federal government will stop paying 100 percent of the expansion's costs, Politico reported.

"This is a commonsense solution to dealing with this for the next three years," Scott said during a press briefing. "It'll give us time to think about how we can improve the system."

He noted, however, that his decision isn't a "white flag of surrender" to government-run healthcare, reported NPR's Shots blog. "While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care," Scott said.

Scott's decision was affected by Florida hospitals, which feared losing federal funds they currently receive to care for uninsured people, and the new political and legal reality surrounding health reform. "We have a Supreme Court decision, and we have an election that says this is the law of the land," he said.

To learn more:
- read the Sun Sentinel article
- check out the Politico article
- see the NPR Shots blog article

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